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Commenting article: German-Bulgarian Writer Slams Election of Bokova for UNESCO Head

NellieotAmerica - 28 Sep 2009 // 00:54:24


" Bill,
I think I had enough of you for a while. Do you think before you write those things or they come naturally to you? You know, my stomach turned at reading your statement. Sick! You lack any sense of humour...Pathetic!"

Bill will be heartbroken! You are his favorite "lady" in cyberspace!

Bill - 28 Sep 2009 // 01:02:04


Not at all. Just trying to be objective. You talk about playing tricks on your doctor. WW and Nellie obiously enjoy tormenting others. Theere IS a similarty. The only difference is degre.

NellieotAmerica - 28 Sep 2009 // 01:07:08


" Please indicate where in the above quote Bill indicated that Verdi is/was a German composer.

Perhaps you are mistaken ?"

OK, you got me. You are good at dotting the i and crossing the t.

Bill said he loves classical music, German classical music, German opera, and then he said Verdi is his favorite composer. Therefore, I assumed that in his mind Verdi is German. lol

NellieotAmerica - 28 Sep 2009 // 01:10:11


" WW and Nellie obiously enjoy tormenting others."

Well, if you consider being tied down and tickled with a feather a torment....Or being tapped on the head with a velvet slipper a torment....

NellieotAmerica - 28 Sep 2009 // 01:16:50


La Traviata appeared in 1853, and at that time the cause of tuberculosis was not known. Generations of languishing, beautiful women were not considered dangerous or infectious, but only glamorously frail, their short lives akin to the beauty of moths fluttering around a candle flame. But by the time La Bohème was first performed in 1896, things were quite different. The reason that Rodolfo abandoned Mimi was because it was known by the time of La Bohème that tuberculosis was contagious, and he didn’t want to die too.

Bill - 28 Sep 2009 // 01:33:03


"Verdi is his favorite composer. Therefore, I assumed that in his mind Verdi is German."

You assumed too much.

I didn't say Verdi was my favorite composer. I said I was an admirer of him. I also admire Chopin, Bizet, Ravel, Borodin, Mussorgski, Tchaikovski, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms.

What I said was that my favorite opera for its music is "La Traviata". DrFaust likes "Die Zauberfloete". So do I. There's some fantastic music in that,. Most famous are the Papageno/Papagena duet and the entrance of the Queen of the Night. (That, I've read, is the most difficult part ever written for a soprano.)

Some operas are best known for only a single piece. "Der Freischuetz" for its hunter's chorus, a magnificent thing. "Aida" for its triumphal march. "Il Trovatore" for its anvil churus, "Nabucco" for the prisoners' chorus. "Carmen's" most famous piece is the toreador. Le Postilllon du Langermeau has a great solo in it. And, of course "The Barber of Seville" has the "Largo al Factotum della CittГ ".

With a menu so wide and varied, it's difficult to pick a favorite.

Bill - 28 Sep 2009 // 01:35:26


Googling again and become an instant expert.

I don't think either composer was particularly concerned with that history. They were telling a story.

NellieotAmerica - 28 Sep 2009 // 02:58:01


Opera is not about the story, most librettos are really silly. The Magic Flute comes to mind.

My favorite operas are different from yours. In order of preference I like:

1. La Boheme

2. Tosca

3. Carmen

4. Madame Butterfly

5. La Traviata

6. Rigoletto

7. Aida

8. The Magic Flute

9. Barber of Seville

10.The Marriage of Figaro

11. Don Giovanni

12. Pagliacci

DrFaust - 28 Sep 2009 // 03:38:06


DrFaust, you demonstrate a pretty good Bulgarian for a native German. Hm..."

Thanks for the compliment, if it was one. Languages come in fact easy to me.
Just for your information: I speak also six more foreign languages pretty well, some of them much more difficult to learn than Bulgarian. and it would be strange if I couldn't speak a decent Bulgarian after several years in this country. But if you ask Nellieotyouknowfromwhere, she thinks all foreigners that go to Bulgaria are dumb, and therefore they are probably also not supposed to know not any languages.

DP - 28 Sep 2009 // 04:40:55

“Thanks for the compliment, if it was one. “


You are welcome.
It was a compliment as well as a show of surprise. Of course it would be strange for someone like you (your aptitude for languages) and considering the circumstances (several years residing in Bulgaria) but in general it is not easy for foreigners to pick up Bulgarian for it seems they tend to associate with fellow expats or Bulgarians with some knowledge of their native tongue.

Bill - 28 Sep 2009 // 05:14:38


"In order of preference I like:"

So what? Matter of taste.

Bill - 28 Sep 2009 // 05:44:50


"I speak also six more foreign languages pretty well, some of them much more difficult to learn than Bulgarian."

Respect and congratulations!

Languages came to me rather easly when I was younger, too, but I haven't been exposed to nearly so many. I've always admired people who can comparatively easily switch from one language to another. When I was invited to my Russian teacher's house for parties, they usually had visitors out of the East Bloc, and the conversation around the table was often in four languages. (Out of courtesy, they'd switch to English if my German wasn't up to following them.) That was one of the reasons I chose to retire and stay in Europe. Didn't want to lose what had gained here.

I once shared an apartment with a Czech refugee. It just so happened that I had a friend from the States who spoke English visiting, when his mother came from the Czech Republic and only spoke Czech. His mother would say something he Czech. He'd translate it into German for me, and I'd put it into English for my friend. My friend was fascinated. He'd never been exposed to a multi-language conversation before.

I found the transition from romance languages to germanic difficult because of the switch of basic systems, and by the time I got exposed to slavic languages at my age, it was terribly difficult. (I'll never get used to verb pairs!)

My Spanish professor at college said you can't claim to know a language until you can think in it, so when coming to Germany I tried to do as much of my thinking as possible in German, and still do.

DrFaust - 28 Sep 2009 // 05:50:09


I agree with you and it is something I remark frequently. Most expats stick together mainly with other expats and have few private contacts with locals. Not very good for your integration, and it is also a lot more fun when you have local friends.

Bill - 28 Sep 2009 // 06:00:35


Again I agree heartily. Integration is the key to successful living in any country. When I took the job that brought me to Germany, I had to deal with a rather bureaucratic lady who was asking the questions and giving instructions in an "I've said this a thousand times, and you're the one thousand and first" tone of voice.

I'll never forget that encounter. She asked me, "Do you want to live in government quarters or out on the economy? If you elect out on the economy, you won't be eligible to switch back".

I told her that I wanted to live out on the economy, and as far outside the military installation as possible. She asked why. I told her my intent was to learn German while here, and if I lived on the base I'd never do it.

I had some German friends in Nuernberg who lived directly across the street from an Army housing area. I asked if they had much contact with the Americans. They said no. I asked them, "What do you have against Americans?". They said, "Nothing. We'd love to meet them--but they don't come out".

The first time I got angry enough to write a letter to the editor of the English-language newspaper distributed among the American forces here was when a lady complained bitterly about not being able to find apple juice in the commissary for her children.

I wrote that this woman obviously hadn't set foot off the base. If there's anything in Germany more plentiful than beer, it's apple juice. Every restaurant has it on their menu and every German market sells it by the barrelful. It was totally rdiculous.

DrFaust - 28 Sep 2009 // 06:02:22


I can't claim I speak any language perfectly. It is hardly impossible after a certain age to learn and speak a foreign language without accent and mistakes. As an adult, you learn in a different way as children do, for them everything comes so natural.

On the other hand, it is always possible to speak and write on a good level, sufficient even to converse in more complicated topics, when you have a motivation to do so. And when your work and field of expertise is so specialized that you work in different regions and countries of the world for many years, it will be something natural to begin to speak (and sometimes even think) in the foreign language.

Bulgaria news (Sofia News Agency - is unique with being a real time news provider in English that informs its readers about the latest Bulgarian news. The editorial staff also publishes a daily online newspaper "Sofia Morning News." (Sofia News Agency - and Sofia Morning News publish the latest economic, political and cultural news that take place in Bulgaria. Foreign media analysis on Bulgaria and World News in Brief are also part of the web site and the online newspaper. News Bulgaria